Florida Governor DeSantis Criticizes DOJ’s Indictment of Trump and Calls for End to “Weaponization” of Law Enforcement

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has recently made headlines with his comments on the indictment of former President Donald Trump, who has been charged with 37 felony counts related to his handling of classified material. DeSantis, a Republican and potential 2024 presidential candidate, has criticized the Department of Justice (DOJ) for allegedly targeting Trump while giving preferential treatment to Democrats like Hillary Clinton and Hunter Biden.

DeSantis has also suggested that Trump’s indictment is politically motivated and has called for an end to the “weaponization” of law enforcement.[0] In a speech at the North Carolina Republican convention on June 9, he asked whether there is a different standard for a Democrat secretary of state versus a former Republican president and argued that there needs to be one standard of justice in the country.[1] He also promised to fire FBI chief Christopher Wray as one of his first acts as President if elected.[2]

DeSantis’s comments have drawn both praise and criticism. Entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy, another 2024 candidate, has said that he would pardon Trump if he were elected and has called on other candidates to commit to pardoning Trump or explain why they wouldn’t.[3] However, former Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson has criticized Ramaswamy’s calls for Trump to be pardoned, calling it “offensive” to use the pardon power “in order to curry votes.”

U.S.[3] Senator Tim Scott has refused to speculate on whether he would pardon Trump but has called his indictment a “serious case with serious allegations” while criticizing the DOJ for allegedly “targeting and hunting Republicans.” Conservative talk show host Larry Elder has said that he would be “very likely” to pardon Trump if elected President.[3]

The indictment against Trump alleges that he showed classified documents to people who lacked a security clearance and obstructed efforts to recover the documents.[4] Trump has denied any wrongdoing.[5] DeSantis, a former naval officer, has compared his own experiences in the military to Trump’s indictment, saying that he would have been court-martialed if he had taken classified documents to his apartment.[6]

Overall, DeSantis’s comments reflect concerns about the politicization of law enforcement and the need for equal treatment under the law. However, some critics argue that DeSantis should model good behavior himself and speak out when his co-partisans are in the wrong. As the 2024 presidential race heats up, the issue of pardoning Trump is likely to remain a topic of debate and controversy.

0. “DeSantis will FIRE FBI chief Christoper Wray if elected President slams DoJ for indicting Trump” msnNOW, 10 Jun. 2023, https://www.msn.com/en-au/news/politics/desantis-will-fire-fbi-chief-christoper-wray-if-elected-president-slams-doj-for-indicting-trump/ar-AA1cmI5e

1. “Ron DeSantis: ‘I would’ve been court-martialed for taking classified documents'” The Telegraph, 10 Jun. 2023, https://www.telegraph.co.uk/world-news/2023/06/10/trump-indictment-ron-desantis-classified-documents/

2. “DeSantis privately strategizes to ‘break up’ federal agencies, end weaponization” Florida’s Voice, 13 Jun. 2023, https://flvoicenews.com/desantis-privately-strategizes-to-break-up-federal-agencies-end-weaponization/

3. “Ron DeSantis Silent Over Pardoning Trump While Other GOP Rivals Back Him” Newsweek, 14 Jun. 2023, https://www.newsweek.com/ron-desantis-pardon-donald-trump-classified-documents-1806597

4. “Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis indirectly condemns Trump indictment on campaign trail” Sand Hills Express, 11 Jun. 2023, https://sandhillsexpress.com/cbs_politics/florida-gov-ron-desantis-indirectly-condemns-trump-indictment-on-campaign-trail-cbsid72eba67a/

5. “DeSantis Hypocritically Complains About the Weaponization of State Power” Reason, 12 Jun. 2023, https://reason.com/2023/06/12/desantis-complains-about-the-weaponization-of-state-power-he-should-reexamine-his-own-record/

6. “DeSantis Backhandedly Defends Trump After Indictment” msnNOW, 10 Jun. 2023, https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/politics/desantis-backhandedly-defends-trump-after-indictment/ar-AA1cmj2v

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